OCEANIC FEMINISM PROJECTS:
Collective research-project in collaboration with Jianni Tien. Our practice remediates water, drawing out the material and discursive elements of situated bodies.
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Thinking-with decorator crabs: oceanic feminism and material remediation in the multiespecies aquarium
Article written with Jianni Tien publised in Feminist Review journal, issue 130 “Oceans”
*Pdf by request
Feminist scholarship has increasingly turned towards the ocean as a conceptual apparatus in which to think through the complex philosophical and ethical dilemmas of the Anthropocene. Responding to the ebbs, flows and transformations of the oceanic turn, our article outlines our interactions with four decorator crabs. It begins by situating our experience of thinking-with these crabs as a feminist practice of care within the conceptual context of the ocean. Our article then draws on the knowledge that arose out of our fertile entanglements with the crabs to propose that: 1) the aquarium, with its colonial histories of subjugation, is a fertile space to re-image human– aquatic relationalities, revealing the fallacy of human control over ‘nature’ and emphasising the agency of marine worlds; 2) Stacy Alaimo’s concept of trans-corporeality is a powerful way to think through the consequences of an acidifying ocean, both for ourselves and for our shelled companions; and 3) remediation is a radical approach to taking seriously the materiality of watery worlds. The objective of the article is to craft a practice of material feminism that entangles our more-than-human bodies to learn-with decorator crabs. In doing so, we show that the aquarium is a potent space of transformation that allows us to imagine new and distinctly feminist entanglements that dismantle hierarchies. We show that thinking-with the materiality of marine worlds is a series of remediations, both material and discursive, that dissolve the boundaries between entities.
Letter reading held at Aslez-Anz
Forthcoming publication at Swamphen Journal.
The ocean is a planetary force consisting of both surface and depth. The imaginary of the ocean is an interconnecting and interconnected force. The ocean, with its hypnotic lack of form, reminds us that who we are does not end at the skin. We bleed into our environments, and our environments bleed into us. The sea is both conceptually and materially entangled with us: we are on a transcorporeal continuum with the ocean.
In this love letter-cum-, we turn toward the ocean as an ontological space of transformation and pen a dedication to our strange kin: decorator crabs.
Decorator crab’s personal archive and journal.